Yesterday, I was parking my Model X90D in the parking garage at work, I was making a sharp turn as I was backing into a parking spot (in manual mode, not autopark), when I heard a bang and my steering became stiff. When I tried moving the car, it felt like it wouldn't want to move. When I moved forward, the car front part felt like it was lifted up an inch or so. I stopped, got out, got onto my knees and crawled under the front suspension to see what was going on. It was obvious to me that there was a front suspension failure (I used to design suspension systems for cars in Detroit 20 years ago). The wheel appeared to contact the wheel well. I refrained from making any further movement as the wheel well was acting as a giant brake on the tire.
I called Tesla roadside service. They were extremely responsive. They immediately dispatched a tow truck. Since it was in a low height parking garage, they actually had to send two trucks - a flatbed truck for transportation to the shop and a pickup truck with a tow hook to pull the car on dollies out of the garage into the open to be loaded onto the flatbed truck. Since I lived close to the shop, they requested the tow truck driver to even drop me at home. It was after hours so there was no one in the shop when we reached.
This morning, got a call from the service center, they confirmed that the driver side control arm had cracked and was broken. They had the parts in the shop and were immediately replacing it. As a precaution they are replacing the control arm on the passenger side too. They said they will deliver the repaired car at my home later this afternoon. The wheel well was deformed a bit and will also be replaced at a later date when those parts arrive.
Tesla service was very responsive and I am delighted by them. My concern is however about the part design. My Model X was delivered only 4 months ago and I have driven it along only city streets and expressways in Texas and never ran over any road debris or was involved in any collisions. Not a scratch on my car. I have not drag raced or off-roaded. It has never been driven off cement/asphalt pavement. It has never been in a flood and has not experienced road salt as the car hasnt lived a winter besides there is no snow in Houston.
I am surprised that the control arm cracked as the fatigue cycles on the part would have been low. I think when one is making an extreme turn, the control arm will be most stressed and it appears the stress analysis done may not have fully captured the loads during the extreme turn. I was driving at less than 5 mph while reverse parking when it failed. I shudder to think what could have happened if this failure occurred as I was on an expressway at speed, taking a turn/on a curved exit ramp, possibly made worse if I was on autopilot.
There is an interesting article in Fortune magazine: http://fortune.com/2016/06/10/tesla-safety-model-s-x/ which I am sure Tesla/Elon may not fully agree with.
I hope Tesla gets to the bottom of this issue and comes up with a fix. The fixes could be simply restricting the wheel turn radius (that would be a bummer as I enjoy the tight turn radius), deploying a redesigned control arm that could handle greater loads, etc. (better), or other modifications.
The Model X is a delight to drive. A very high tech car that makes driving and parking easy. I am counting on Tesla to come up with a good solution before anyone gets hurt - owners or the company.